Mathematics Colloquium: When is correlation coevolution?
4:10 p.m.; Neill Hall 5W
Abstract: Spatial correlations between traits of interacting species have long been used as evidence of coevolution. Here we evaluate the utility of this approach using mathematical models to predict correlations that evolve between traits of interacting species for a broad range of interaction types. Our results reveal coevolution is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for the evolution of spatially correlated traits between species. Specifically, our results show that coevolutionary selection fails to consistently generate statistically significant correlations and, conversely, that non-coevolutionary processes can readily cause significant correlations to evolve.